Grinding your own coffee can be a pleasurable part of your daily ritual. Coffee grinders can be relatively inexpensive, are easy to use, and deliver the best cup of coffee possible.
But if you've never used one, the options can be confusing. There are coffee grinders for every style, taste, and budget, so the market is massive. Here's the top 10 espresso grinders, and what you need to know about them so you can make your decision about a grinder that much easier.
Why buy a coffee grinder?
The answer is obvious. Flavor. That delicious coffee taste comes from the oils contained within the beans, and the more evenly and consistently these oils are released equals a better tasting end result.
You just can’t get the same high-quality taste from buying pre-ground bags of coffee at the grocery store. Often, these grounds can rapidly become stale from oxidation, leading to lifeless-tasting cups of coffee in the end.
This means if you want the best cup of coffee, you want the best grinder. You're probably already spend a lot of money on your coffee beans, and your coffee maker. Why let your coffee down by not investing in the grinding process, as well?
The differences between blade grinders and burr grinders
There are two main methods grinders use to process your coffee beans. Blades and Burrs.
Blade Grinders are significantly cheaper, but have a lot less variability in the end result. The beans also tend to have a less uniform size once they've been ground. But for a starter product, if you've never ground beans before, they're perfectly adequate.
Burr Grinders use two rotating plates that physically grind the beans between them. Burr grinders are highly adjustable, because you can change the difference between the burrs to get exact control over your end result.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are also two kinds of burrs you’ll see when you look at burr grinders: conical and flat. These names refer to the shapes of the burrs, and they have a surprising influence on the taste of the coffee.
Flat burrs mean the grinding discs are flat and rest on top of each other. Because they produce such uniform coffee particles, they’re excellent at bringing out sweet and deep flavors in coffee.
Conical burrs are shaped like cones, and they create particles of differing sizes called bimodal particles. They're great at highlighting the bright, lively notes in a coffee.
What you should consider when buying an espresso grinder
In order to make sure you really do end up with the espresso machine, there’s a variety of factors you should consider.
For one thing, of course, there’s price. Budgets are important to just about any purchase you make, and so you’ll want to consider how much the espresso grinder costs, too.
However, it’s important to also think about things aside from the cost. It can be too easy to get caught up in the price tag on a grinder and ignore features that would benefit you.
For instance, do you prefer sweeter and nuttier flavor profiles? Then you might want to look into a grinder with flat burrs.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys bright and fruity flavors, or you prefer light roast coffees, then you should think about a conical burr grinder.
Take into consideration your level of experience and your comfort level with grinders, too. Pay attention to fineness settings on each one and gauge whether you’re comfortable choosing from more settings, or if you’ll feel better with only the basics.
Are you particularly concerned about the noise level of the grinder? Then your solution might be a hand grinder, which is amazingly quiet because it’s operated by hand.
Additionally, the size of the hopper in the grinder is something else to look at. If you’re going to be grinding large amounts of coffee, then you won’t want to be bothered by having to constantly stop and refill the hopper.
But if you’re just grinding for yourself, then you’ll likely not need to be too worried about the hopper size.
The point is, there are a number of things to consider beyond the price tag. Although the price is very important, if you focus on it alone, you may end up choosing a grinder that doesn’t actually meet your personal needs.
Firstly, it’s gorgeous, and will look amazing sitting on any countertop, next to your coffee maker. The whole thing reeks of high build quality, from the high-density plastic, with extra attention paid to the parts that are used most like the start buttons, to the premium steel burrs, which offer an exceptional grind experience and will last for ages without needing replacement.
It's also incredibly easy to use, with a wide variety of preset options and a built-in scale for the perfect cup of coffee. If you want a touch of luxury with your cup of morning joe, the Mahlkonig Peak is the perfect choice.Who should buy the Mahlkonig Peak? Consider this grinder if you’re an espresso expert and budget isn’t necessarily your priority. This is a high-end grinder with the power to even meet commercial-level demands
Breville Smart Grinder Pro
A mid level burr grinding option, the Breville packs an awful lot of professional level options into its petite frame, while costing half as much as some other options.
For a start, the grinding experience is excellent, with quality stainless steel burrs that can work at a solid selection of 60 grind settings. The grinding motors are high power, and are adjustable in grinding time increments as low as 0.2 seconds, getting you the precise finish you want every single time.
It also holds a solid amount of beans, 18 ounces to be precise, with the option to grind straight into a grind container, port-a-filter, filter basket or paper filter.
Honestly, as a general-level grinder, this Breville model offers an awful lot for the price, and should seriously be considered if you're not going to spring the full price for a Mahlkonig.
Who should buy the Breville Smart Grinder Pro? Experienced coffee enthusiasts who want a massive array of fineness settings to choose from, but for a smaller price than the Mahlkonig, will get the most out of this grinder.
Cuisinart Supreme Grinder
An entry level burr grinder from industry staples Cuisinart, this grinder is an excellent choice for anyone who wants the precision and smoothness of a burr ground cup of coffee, without breaking the bank in the bargain.
Attractive enough, it's designed to be as simple to use as possible. The bean hopper slots into the top, holding up to 8 ounces of beans at a time. You can set it to grind from 4 to 16 cups of beans in one go, and once set you can forget it, as it will shut itself off when it's finished cycling.
The only real downside is the lack of precision in the burr settings, with a dial that simply runs from fine to coarse, but a little playing around will soon have you finding your preferred setting, and for this price it's hard to complain.Who should buy the Cuisinart Supreme Grinder? Consider this grinder if you’re a beginner who needs to make a larger amount of coffee – the 16-cup capacity would be a dream if that sounds like you
HandGround Precision Manual Grinder
If you like a little more direct control over your grinding, then this manual option might be just what you're searching for.
Developed by coffee enthusiasts, for coffee enthusiasts, and funded through Kickstarter, this grinder has already been delivered to thousands of people across the globe.
But how does it perform? Well, the burrs are high-quality, with an absurd 0.004 inch tolerance of error in the build. When paired with the heavy duty handle, it makes grinding beans a cinch. You can get the exact speed and pressure you want, and with the 15 built-in settings you've got adequate options for almost everything including espresso, pour over and french press.
If you've never used a hand grinder before, they're incredibly simple, and it only takes seconds to get your beans. Even better, a grinder like this is ridiculously quiet, which can be a huge deal in the early mornings, especially if you have a family still in bed!
Who should buy the HandGround Precision Manual Grinder? This is the grinder for you if need a low-volume grinder that doesn’t sacrifice accuracy. Since you have to grind it by hand, this may be better if you don’t need to make a larger batch or if you love the meditative quality of focusing on the task at hand.
Quiseen One Touch Grinder
Simplicity at a reasonable price, if you're looking to grind your own beans but don't want to mess around with settings, this is an excellent starter point. It's also absolutely perfect if you love your coffee and you're looking for a transportable grinder that you can take away with you.
Honestly, it couldn't be simpler. There is only one setting, but the powerful steel blades are more than up to the job. It’s easy to hold in your hand, being slightly larger than your average thermos, and the integrated power cable can be tucked into the casing when you put it away.
It also serves double duty as a grinder for other foodstuffs, including nuts and spices.
For this price, it's hard to say no, even if it is very basic. You could even buy one as a second grinder for use when you're not using your main model.Who should buy the Quiseen One Touch Grinder? Pick this grinder if you need something you can comfortably take with you wherever you need to go for a modest price.
JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
The JavaPresse is a fantastic choice for those on a budget who are drawn to the quiet of hand grinders.
It allows for a huge amount of precision with over 15 fineness settings to choose from. With more settings, you’re able to grind the ideal fineness for each type of coffee, from French press to Turkish.
If you discover that you prefer one setting, you can use the locking mechanism to lock the setting in place. This means that you’ll enjoy a consistent grind, without the hassle of having to stop and recalibrate your grinder.
You’re also getting a lot of value for your money with this grinder, because its ceramic burrs can last up to five times longer than stainless steel blades. You won’t need to worry about expensive replacements or having to buy a new grinder anytime soon.Who should buy the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder? If you find the look of a hand grinder appealing but need something more affordable than the Handground Precision grinder, this is the one for you.
Mueller Austria HyperGrind Precision Electric Coffee Grinder
At a breathtakingly affordable price, you’ll be able to grind not only coffee, but grains or spices, as well. Since this grinder can be used for so many purposes, this isn’t the kind of kitchen gadget you’ll store in a cupboard and only take out occasionally.
On top of that, the grinder is extremely compact, so you’ll have no problems fitting it on even the most crowded countertops. Its minimalist white design makes it easy to blend in with many different color schemes, so you don’t need to worry about it standing out like a sore thumb.
If you’re wondering how it performs, the answer is consistently. With the simple push of a button, its stainless steel blades will deliver a uniform and aromatic grind in whatever you need, whether it be spices or coffee.Who should buy the Mueller Austria HyperGrind? This grinder is a perfect match for you if you’re looking for something that’s not limited to just grinding coffee and if you have limited counter space.
Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Do you love zesty tastes or light roast coffees?
If your answer to that question is a resounding yes, then you should look at the Oxo Brew Conical Coffee Grinder.
With sturdy 40-millimeter stainless steel conical burrs, this grinder will accentuate the fruity notes in every coffee bean. Each cup you drink in the morning will be bursting with lively flavors to start your day off with.
This grinder is perfect for serving entire households, too. Its hopper can hold up to 0.75 pounds of coffee beans, which is more than enough to meet the needs of an avid coffee drinker and grind enough for anyone else in the house. You won’t have to be concerned with stopping to refill this grinder often.
In addition to that, the one-touch start timer on the Oxo makes it a breeze to operate. All you need to do is choose your grind setting from 15 different options, then push the start timer to grind.Who should buy the Oxo Conical Burr Coffee Grinder? Buy this grinder if you’re into light roasts or if you go through a lot of coffee each day.
Shardor Electric Coffee Grinder
Its stainless steel blades are durable and can grind through coffee beans quickly. They’re also great for providing consistent grind textures ranging from as fine to coarse as you prefer.
With this grinder, you’ll pour your beans into a food-grade stainless steel bowl that locks into the top of the machine. This fill bowl comes with measuring lines on the outside, so you can easily gauge with your eyes the exact amount you need.
It’s clear that your convenience was planned into the very design of the Shardor. A sealing ring at the top presses into the bowl while you grind, preventing any dust from escaping and saving you from having to clean your countertops. Once you’re done grinding, the base of the grinder comes with built-in storage for the cord, so you can just wrap it up and tuck it away.
Who should buy the Shardor Electric Coffee Grinder? This is a perfect selection for anyone who prioritizes cleanliness with its seal ring and easy cord storage.
Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder
There’s a reason the Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder is so well-loved by its users.
For starters, it’s remarkably quiet. If the volume of a coffee grinder has ever made you want to plug your ears, then you’ll love how soft this one sounds in comparison. When you use the Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind, you can rest assured your peace and quiet in the morning will remain undisturbed.
Aside from volume, it’s incredibly user-friendly. Messing with fineness settings can be overwhelming for beginners, and with this grinder, you can adjust your setting by simply choosing how long or short to grind. If you want a finer grind, you can simply grind longer.
Need to grind more than just coffee? This machine has got you covered. You’ll be able to grind spices, herbs, seeds, or more fresh for each meal you make.
Who should buy the Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind? Pick this grinder if you’re a beginner who wants to enjoy a delicious cup of freshly ground coffee or more flavorful meals with freshly ground spices.